How are ya. How is your Chrismahanukkwanzalaborgroundhog whatever will not offend you season going?! Great, great. Mine, too.
If we’re friends on ye ol’ Facebook you probably saw that the show I wrote for this year is now coming out with promos! You can watch the trailer, see the opening credits, and even obey Brit + Co who says it’s gonna be the show you binge next year. I don’t know who Brit is but I like her and her Co. Click on these to check them out!!!!!
The show officially comes out on January 6th. Wee!
So, last week I get a call from my sister, panicked and worried, on Tuesday night. This call is usually the other way around.
You see, I like to use my sister as a reference point for normalcy at any age. Because she’s seven year older than me, I view her like I view Australia. I always trust that everything’s going to be fine as long as everything is fine in Australia, as they are always a day ahead of us. So, if the world was gonna end, it would have already hit those Down Under (I’m sorry, Aussies. You’re the bottom bunk of the world.)
In the same vain, I call my sister with my trials and tribulations and all the stupid mistakes that I make and when she says, “Oh, I did that when I was your age, too.” I know it’s no big deal because if my world was going to end from that mistake, hers would have ended seven years ago. And it didn’t. She has a beautiful life. Thus, if I’m on the same path as my sister, I’m gonna be just fine. And maybe even have two cute kids named Kendall and Luke.
I know none of this logic actually makes sense. But neither does the fact that traffic is called “rush hour.” So … THERE.
Anyway, where were we? My sister called me freaking the F out. Some background information: She and Allie (her biz partner/bff/my GIRL) started a fabric business this year. They now have an online business and community where people buy fabric from them and then sew things and post it on their Facebook group page for all to see with a caption saying “JUST SOMETHING I WHIPPED UP WHILE MY KID SLEPT FOR 8 MINUTES” and it is perfectly tailored Lululemon-equatable leggings. That I’ve paid $150 for. And 6 matching ones for their entire family. Seriously, these chicks are insanely talented.
Some of her Christmas-themed (AND NON-DENOMINATIONAL WINTER PRINTS, CALM DOWN) rolls of fabric got caught up in international customs and had finally arrived in a factory in Downtown LA. It would take another week to ship them to Allie’s house. It could take another week to cut, package, and ship. It would then take however long to arrive to customers. By the time all this happened, it would be Christmas morning. Santa would have already stopped by. Kids would be waking up early. Quiche would be cooking. I would have an extreme eggnog-induced hangover and be yelling at my cat to bring me Advil. And there would be no matching family sets of perfectly tailored Lululemon-equatable leggings under any tree. NONE.
Is your heart breaking? ‘Cause mine was.
When your sister calls you with this sort of problem (and you live in LA), you have a few choices:
- Hang up and claim your cell phone cut out ‘cause your service sucks in your apartment and you aren’t planning on venturing outside anytime soon so srrrrry.
- Tell her that Downtown LA is too scary and that you’ve only been there a handful of times and it’s really only whenever you’re dating a new guy and have tried to impress him by saying “DUH I LuV bAsKeTbALL!” and then he inevitably takes you to a Laker game around date 3 or 4 and you begrudgingly agree to go hoping you’ll see a Kardashian.
- Ask her when and where she needs you to be. ‘Cause… what are sisters for? Also I need her because who else is going to make fun of Mom with me at Christmas when she says insane things like “‘This is Us’ is this great new show about families that have nothing to do with one another!”
The next morning at 9am… I was among the factories of LA.
My job was to get to the huge rolls of fabric and cut them into whatever people length had ordered (1 yard, 2 yards, 3 yards, 4 yards, 5 yards aka DO YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH THAT IS AND ARE YOU MAKING A POOL COVER?!), put them in boxes that I hijacked from two separate USPS stores, put the shipping labels on them, and ship them out. Sounds simple right?
IT’S NOT SIMPLE. There were about 100 orders, 25 rolls of fabric, and over 500 yards to be cut. I have never sewed anything in my life. I thought fabric came in “soft” and “not soft.” I have thrown out very expensive sweaters when a button falls off instead of figuring out how to sew it back on. I sit in a room and tell jokes all day. I cry when people don’t laugh at my witty puns. This is NOT. MY. THING.
I walked in and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was extremely intimidated. Needless to say, I’ve never worked in a factory before. I met Sean, the owner, and he showed me the TOWER OF FABRIC ROLLS that my sister’s company ordered and needed to be cut. He said I could use their table, scissors, and anything else I needed. He even offered that if some of the other workers were free, I could recruit them to help. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had Sean. He would show me the way. He could clarify everything for me. But as I began saying, “So okay what the hell is ‘double brushed polyester’ fabric–” Sean answered a call on his bluetooth ear-piece in the middle of the conversation and walked away yelling “GREG HELLO THERE, HOW’S CHINA” leaving me in his dust.
Marcos, one of the factory workers, began helping me. He showed me how to measure out, cut, and fold the fabric into different pieces. He and Francesca, another worker, became my best friends for the next two days. Marcos spoke pretty good English and Francesca claimed she couldn’t speak any. Though, I am weary about that, ‘cause every time I said “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUCK I AM DOING, FRANCESCA” she would giggle.
My home for a few days. That’s my boy Marcos. He didn’t look up because he doesn’t want the fame this blog will surely bring him.
I had my sister on FaceTime the entire day. She would tell me what to cut, and with the help of Marcos and Francesca, I would measure, cut, and fold it. I stayed at the factory until 5pm when Marcos told me that it was time for him to go home. He said he lived like twenty miles away and BIKED BOTH WAYS. I take the elevator when I leave to go to the gym.
My car, full of the fabric cuts. That red fabric in the bottom photo is “red snowflakes” which is different from the “small snowflakes” “white snowflakes” “blue snowflakes” “ivory snowflakes” and I don’t know “snowflakity snowflakes.” There were SO MANY different snowflake prints because apparently my sister took the saying ‘every snowflake is different’ TOO LITERALLY.
I took all the fabric home that night to continue to FaceTime my sister until midnight as I boxed up the first round of orders. I spent hours and hours with these prints and orders and the names of these customers. It got to the point where I felt I knew them: “Another yard? Theresa does love her floral prints.” “Carly, what are you going to do with all this snowflake fabric? You live in Florida, girl!” “No no. Recheck that. Pretty sure Suzy prefers red reindeer to white reindeer.”
The next morning, I dropped off the first round of boxes at my local post office. The woman was so angry with me for giving her so many boxes to ship out. When she asked, “What the hell are you sending to all these people?” I shrugged and said, “Sex sells.” and walked away just to shake up her day.
When I headed into the factory the next day, it was like returning home. Me and Marcos high-fived. Francesca and I perfectly executed the handshake from the Parent Trap. We got to work.
At around 3pm day 2, we FINALLY finished cutting what needed to be cut. When I left that day to spend another night packaging, Marcos said, “See you tomorrow?” and it pained me to tell him that no, Marcos, you will not see me tomorrow. I was going to sleep for 67 hours straight after this ordeal. I spent two day doing what Marcos and Francesca do every single day and bitched about it pretty much the entire time. To say I have a new appreciation for them and what they do is an understatement. They are so hardworking and wonderful.
Overall, it was quite the experience. But I will say that seeing those perfectly tailored Lululemon-equatable leggings come up on the Facebook group from fabric that I cut and shipped out DOES feel pretty cool. Except Sharon. Sharon, of course, made a dress. (SO her.)
If you guys want to see my sister’s company, check them out here: https://www.vinegarandhoneyco.com/
Their Facebook group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/197524133984227/231156720620968/?notif_t=like¬if_id=1474784281409388